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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  November 20, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST

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pe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. i'm wolf blitzer live in jerusalem. it's 6:00 p.m. here in israel. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. after seven days of rockets and air strikes, sirens, fear, and destruction, we may, repeat may, be closer to a truce. reports out of egypt, which have acted as a mediator, say a cease-fire is imminent but that's not been confirmed by israel. as we speak the secretary of state, hillary clinton, is on her way here to jerusalem for a late-night meeting with the israeli prime minister benjamin
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netanyahu. she's due to meet tomorrow with the leader of the palestinian authority in the west bank, president mahmood abbas and then she will fly to cairo to meet with mohamed morsi. she won't meet with hamas which the u.s. government regards as a terrorist organization. netanyahu met last hour with secretary of state ban ki-moon. the two met with reporters only moments ago. >> unfortunately, mr. secretary, hamas and islamic jihad and the other terrorist groups do not share your concern about our civilian casualties or about civilian casualties at all. >> that was the israeli prime minister meeting with the u.s. secretary-general ban ki-moon. earlier today israel put an all-out ground assault of gaza on hold,age i'm quoting, to give
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limited time for a diplomatic solution. egypt sees an end to the gaza conflict, that's see. president morsi says, the travesty of the israeli aggression on ga did will end in a few hours ap christiane amanpour is here and watching what's going on. the diplomacy is intense right now but it's by no means a done deal. >> it's not a done deal but by all the signals we're getting, it looks like both sides feel they are just about there. obviously, you're not there until the whole thing is done and ready to be announced but the messages we're getting from egypt, which are very significant because egypt is the lead, there is no one else, its egypt which is the lead with hamas. the u.s. is talking to the palestinians via egypt. obviously, israel is at the table with the egyptians. and we're hearing from the israelis as well that possibly they will be ready to announce some kind of cease-fire not far from now. that's consistent to what we have been hearing over the last several days. president netanyahu has said
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they would rather see this resolved diplomatically. they were pushing for the success of the diplomatic track while all the time preparing the military track at the same time in parallel in case the diplomacy didn't work. it seems to me particularly having told me earlier today, officials, that this was on hold, any kind of ground offensive to give diplomacy a chance to work, it seems that something must be coming to a head because secretary of state hillary clinton is on the way, as you say. she will be meeting. maybe there will be an announcement when she meets with prime minister netanyahu this evening here. >> it will be a late night meeting for the two of them. it was a surprise that she's coming to the region, going to meet with the palestinian authority president and then meeting with president morsi. >> well, that's right. i must say though, i think that it's obviously, you know, important that she meets with the only plinalestinians who th u.s. recognizes but the real players obviously are hamas and they're in gaza and the u.s. does not recognize hamas. president obama we're told has been also in very late night talks for his time zone.
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he's been in the far east on that east asia summit trip, but he's been talking to prime minister netanyahu, talking to the egyptian president morsi, and the u.s. has said that they really believe that the egyptians have played a very significant and very constructive role. again, we'll wait to see what happens but this is a major test for egypt, not so much for egypt, but for how egypt and the world might work together on these issues. the first time an islamist leader elected in egypt has taken part in these very, very difficult kinds of things. >> and even as they are apparently close to a deal, a lot of rockets came into israel today, including not far from where we are here in jerusalem, a whole bunch came in the south, i was there earlier in the day, and the israelis are continuing their strikes in gaza as well. >> well, that's right. the air war, so to speak, continues while the diplomacy also continues. this is a tough neighborhood, wolf, and nobody is going to hold off until the ink is about to be dried on the paper.
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but as you say, hamas has had the benefit of this post-arab spring support from arab leaders. they're all coming into gaza to stand shoulder to shoulder and in support of hamas and giving hamas, which the west would like to see isolated, giving hamas this legitimacy, unlike any previous arab leaders and they're also though pushing for this cease-fire. so trying to use their leverage in that way. >> christiane amanpour, our cnn international anchor and the global affairs anchor. thanks. we're getting some news in from cnn's reza sayah right now. he's joining us live from the egypt/gaza border. reza, what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, obviously we're talking about the possibility of a truce and a cease-fire in the coming hours, about you we just got some emphatic, very loud reminders that the fighting continues. right behind us is the rafah border crossing. about two minutes ago at least three or four huge explosions.
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we can't independently verify what these explosions are, but we can tell you for the past two days that we've been here, we've heard the incessant buzz of what sound like israeli drones up above and egyptian security forces who are manning the rafah crossing believe these explosions are being caused by israeli drone strikes, wolf. >> when you hear those explosions going off, are the folks running for cover over there where you are, reza? because you're right outside of gaza on the egyptian side i take it. >> reporter: frankly, they're used to it. they may duck, they may look to see where it came from, they may listen to the car alarms, but by now they're very much used to the explosions, wolf. >> all right. we'll stay in close touch with you, reza. lots happening right now. we'll take a quick break and we'll be right back. if you are one of the millions of men
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sheva. i witnessed what was going on, at least 30 or 35 hamas rockets came into the area when i was there. several of them were destroyed by israel's iron dome anti-missile system, but several also hit various civilian targets, including one home, a residential area. from the outside it didn't look so bad. only when i got inside did i see the destruction in this house. i met the mother, the father, four kids who all had about 30 or 45 seconds to get into one of their so-called safe rooms, a shelter in the house. i went inside there later. it's about the size of a closet but it's all concrete. fortunately for them, they got inside. they were saved but the rest of the house as you can see from the still pictures we took, the rest of the house pretty much destroyed. it's a situation that, unfortunately, continues even as negotiations are under way to come up with some sort of cease-fire.
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and despite word of a possible cease-fire between israel and hamas, the two sides continue to exchange serious fire today. ben wedeman is joining us now, he's monitoring all the developments from gaza city. ben, i know there's been some high level arab league visitors to gaza. give us the latest. what's going on? >> reporter: yes, wolf. this was a delegation led by the secretary-general of the arab league. it included the turkish foreign minister, the iraqi, jordanian, and other. this is the highest level delegation that's really ever go come to gaza since hamas took over back in 2007. and we heard, for instance, the secretary-general of the arab league saying their ultimate goal is to end the occupation. so what we're seeing and what several of those ministers told me, the dramatic change compared to four years ago when israel launched operation cast lead is that the arab government, because of pressure from the
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arab people, are much more actively engaged in trying to resolve this situation, in trying to bring, a, a cease-fire, but they're looking beyond that to some sort of political resolution of this conflict that's been going on for more than 60 years. and, of course, people reacted quite enthusiastically wherever they went. they went to, for instance, a hospital. they went to the site of one of the bombings that left 11 people dead on sunday, and there were people chanting their support for turkey, for egypt, for the arab league and others. so this really is a radical change, and i asked one palestinian diplomat about the american role, and he just shook his head, and he said, you know, they're just not in it this time. that before they were much more engaged. now they seem to have farmed out the responsibility, he said, to turkey, to try to bring about a resolution to this problem. wolf? >> you know, ben, when you see
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what's going on in gaza, does it feel like a cease-fire may be imminent? >> reporter: not yet. in fact, just when somebody told me that there were rum yoor thas a cease-fire would take place, i heard what sounded like the whoosh of a rocket being fired by gaza and within the last half hour i have heard several explosions. bearing in mind, however, that often times what i have seen here in gaza and elsewhere is that before a cease-fire goes into place, both sides usually fire a few rounds just to make a point that they're still engaged, they're still fighting. now, wolf, i want to bring in anderson cooper, my colleague. anderson, you saw something in the streets right below us. what was that? >> reporter: we have a photograph and i want to warn our viewers it is disturbing to see. we were here about an hour, hour and a half ago and we heard people on motorcycles yelling god is great and also yelling about a collaborator. when we looked out the window,
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we see what you are going to see in the picture, which is about six men, six to eight men on motorcycles dragging the body of a man who was clearly dead. his feet tied by rope to one of the motorcycles, dragging him down a main street in gaza city. they were saying he was a collaborator with israel, which is obviously as you well know something -- there's a lot of suspicion of people here because of the targeted strikes israel is doing. >> when we were at the meeting with arab league members and the turkish foreign minister, our driver witnessed the same motorcycle driving by. he said there were people running around the body as it went by slowly dragged by the motorcycle, and the men on the motorcycle were shooting the body. >> really? >>. >> reporter: as it went by. this has happened before in the west bank, here in gaza. it's well-known there are many collaborators. many people feeding information to the israelis but such a public manner of displaying it a bit -- >> there's a local media report
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saying six collaborators were shot to death in the streets but we only saw the one body. obviously very disturbing scene. >> reporter: okay. so, wolf, otherwise today in gaza there's been a variety -- in fact, the israelis dropped leaflets over the northern part of the gaza strip telling people to evacuate that area, and i saw donkey carts, trucks, motorcycles with people with as many possessions as they could bring. here they have been moved to u.n. schools in gaza city to provide them with temporary accommodations. so talk of a cease-fire, wolf, but it doesn't really feel like it. >> yeah, doesn't feel like it here either, although the speculation is it could be imminent. ben, we're going to get back to you. we're going to get back to anderson of course, as well. much more of the breaking news from jerusalem right after this. .
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this is cnn breaking news.
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>> also some rum quors floating around right now, how close is a cease-fire, is there a cease-fire. let's breing in the spokesmen. mark, thank you very much for coming in. has there been an agreement reached thanks to the egyptians of a cease-fire between hamas and israel? >> diplomacy is still ongoing. we're currently meeting with a the secretary-general of united nations. later on tonight here in jerusalem we'll be meeting with secretary of state hillary clinton. the ball is still in play. i'd like to be able to tell you we've reached a situation where israelis no longer have to worry about rocketing coming in across the border and blowing up their houses. we're not there yet. >> how close are you? >> until you're there, you're not there. to say we're 50% or 80%, it doesn't mean anything. we want to come out of this with a new reality in southern israel, that the citizens of our country no longer have to live in fear of an incoming rocket
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launched by hamas in gaza. that's the bottom line. when that can be achieved, this operation is over. >> because there are some reports quoting hamas officials as saying shortly a formal announcement will be made of a cease-fire. >> we have no illusions as to hamas, what their radical agenda is, what they'd like to do if they could. we saw earlier today they fired a rocket at this city where we're sitting now, a city of jerusalem, a city that is so special to tens of millions of people across the planet. they shot a rocket -- you know jerusalem, wolf. this city has jewish neighborhoods and arab neighborhoods. they could have killed palestinians. the rocket ended in the west bank and they don't care. it could have landed on one of the holy sites of the three great religions. what were they thinking? i think that demonstrates more than anything else who we're up against and why it's important to come out of this with clear arrangements that we get a long period of quiet for the people ever southern israel who deserve to live a normal life.
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>> so this report that's now moving on the reuters -- from the reuters news service quoting officials as saying that egypt has brokered a cease-fire agreement between hamas and israel, you say -- >> no deal done yet. our strikes against hamas continue. we're hitting them hard until we see an end of rockets launched on israel. now, i understand why hamas is saying what they're doing. we're hitting their command and control, we're hitting their arsenals, hitting their missile launching facilities, historying their communications. we're hitting them hard because they have been shooting at our people, they've been targeting israelis and they still target israelis. i understand they want a time-out, but if they're interested in a time-out just to regroup and to come and shoot back at israelis a week from now after they've rested, we're not interested in that. what we want to see, we want this ended once and for good. we want a new reality where israeli civilians no longer have to live in fear of these
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rockets. >> is it fair to say though, even though there's no agreement yet, you're very close? >> you're not there until you're there. >> can you tell us what the stumbling block might snb. >> i can't go into the details of the negotiations because if these negotiations are to succeed, they have to be done discreetly. the united states is very important in this. that's why our meeting with hillary clinton is very important. the meeting with ban ki-moon, he's coming from cairo. the egyptians have an ability to play an important role. if it comes together, it will come together. if not, we don't have an graeme, unfortunately we'll be forced to use other means to protect our people. i want to see diplomacy succeed. i hope we do. >> and the prime minister will be meeting tonight with hillary clinton? >> correct. >> what happens after that? will there be public statement? >> if it was dependent on america and israel, we wouldn't have this problem. there are other actors here,
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hamas, who is a prickly customer. people have to remember this, they are designated a terrorist organization not just by israel but by the united states state department, by the canadian government, by the european union, by japan, by australia. these people are terrorists who target innocent civilians and we should have no illusions as to what their agenda is. >> mark is the spokesman for prime minister benjamin netanyahu. he's say nothing deal yet. they're still working intensively and the israeli prime minister will be meeting later tonight here in jerusalem with the u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton. israel has launched nearly 1,400 air strikes into gaza targeting 100 sites overnight. gaza's health ministry says at least 114 palestinians have been killed, more than 900 injured since the violence began seven days ago. we'll be right back. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future.
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apply online or at a bank america nr you. want to welcome back our
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viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in jerusalem. according to reuters, a hamas official says israel and gaza militants have agreed to an egyptian brokered cease-fire but we heard only moments ago a spokesman for the israeli prime minister saying no agreement has been reached yet. he says diplomacy though does continue, but until an agreement has been reached, there is no agreement. heard that from the spokesman for prime minister benjamin netanyahu. joining us on the phone from vienna is a member of the plo's executive committee, a member of the palestinian legislative counsel. thanks very much for joining us. what are you hearing about a cease-fire? >> yes. actually what i have heard so far is that the talks have been going well and that from egyptian and from hamas sources that they expect an announcement of a cease-fire within the next couple hours and probably
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tonight. so the news from cairo is much more positive than what your israeli spokesman is doing, saying, but hopefully there will be a cease-fire and that remains the first step. what we need to do is ensure that all the causes of the violence, of the israeli assault on gaza, of this tragic loss of life will end the occupation. >> what is your understanding of the cease-fire? what are the terms? what would hamas immediately be required to do? what would israel immediately be required to do? >> well, not all the details are known, but basically a cease-fire is a cessation of t acts of violence but it has to go beyond that. because the siege and incursions and policy of assassinations carried out by israel are the things that provoked this latest violence. unless you deal with them, you're going to have one after
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another with temporary cease-fires. so right now the hamas very clearly wants to ensure that this cease-fire would go beyond just a temporary halt but would also involve a cessation to all assassination measures by israel as well as lifting the siege. israel, of course, has also two other requirements, including it wants to ensure that hamas not only stops violence but is also responsible for policing other organizations in gaza and ensuring that no violence will take place against israelis from gaza. >> does the palestinian authori authority, and you're a representative of the plo, have any real authority in gaza right now. we know obviously you have extensive complete control basically over the west bank, but what about in gaza? >> well, gaza is still run by hamas, but the palestinian people of gaza are nonetheless
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palestinians, and the plo represents all palestinians everywhere. because hamas was represented by all palestinians, not just the west bank. so we believe we have one political system even though now in gaza there is a rift but the people of gaza are no the just hamas and labeled terrorists the way the israelis try to present them as though they are all men, women, and children are all terrorists. there are civilians, there are innocent people living in this miserable place entirely under siege, and at the same time the israeli spokespeople justify whatever happens to them by saying they're hamas. no, hamas is a political movement, yes, but israel has been targeting hamas and has been targeting all the innocent civilians in gaza which led to the killing, the murder of 133 palestinians, the wounding of over 300 -- sorry, of over 900, most of these are civilians.
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so no justification would be accepted and, of course, gaza is entirely -- it's at the mercy of a brutal israeli assault bombing and shelling and they expect that the people of gaza would lie down and die quietly while israel has a free hand in gaza. this cannot be acceptable, so the issue is how do we deal with the siege? how do we deal with the occupation? how do we bring israel into compliance with international law and with the requirements of a genuine peace, not just truces and cease-fires while israel continues to hold control over all palestinian territory. >> a member of the plo executive committee joining us from vienna right now. thanks very much for joining us. we'll see if there's a cease-fire announced in the next few hours or not. we'll take another quick break. much more of the news when we come back. a hybrid? most are just no fun to drive.
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this is cnn breaking news. >> following lots of breaking news right now. i want to welcome back our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in jerusalem. israelis and palestinians exchanging attacks for a seventh straight day despite lots of talks right now of a possible truce. a hamas official tells reuters israel and the militants in gaza have agreed to an egyptian brokered cease-fire that would go into effect at midnight local time, a little more than five hours from now. but, and this is a huge, huge but, the israeli government says the negotiations are still under way. just a few moments ago we spoke with a spokesman for the prime minister of israel who says no agreement has been achieved yet. there has been though lots tit
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for tat today. israel has long accused iran of supplying hamas with rockets. the former british prime minister tony blair who has been trying to negotiate peace in the region met with me yesterday. here is what he said. >> it's not just the issue to do with the acquisition of nuclear weapons capability, it's the instability they push around the region the whole time including in gaza. some parts of some of the groups in gaza are absolute proxies for iranian power and they push these missiles into gaza which then, you know, cause the type of issue we've got today. so, you know, i think -- well, let us hope that in the end it changes. >> the iran/hamas connection is part of what officials say is an extensive pipeline of weapons support. analysts say it's through this pipeline that iran supplied hamas with the new missiles
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which has a greater range than anything hamas had before, and as we have seen, this new weapon is capable of striking areas outside of tel aviv and here in jerusalem from gaza. joining us now with his expertise in all of this, cnn contributor, the former cia officer, bob bair. thanks very much for joining us. what do you see iran's role in this current crisis as being? >> well, they've got a hand in all of this. it goes back to 1992. we're talking two decades when an alliance formed between iran and hamas. it happened in lebanon. iran immediately started supplying weapons, training, the knowledge of building bunkers, everything they could. hezbollah as proxies went to hamas with the same sort of training, went into gaza, and they've never stopped supplying hamas with rockets. the intelligence is indisputable. now, i don't think they have political control over hamas,
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but nonetheless, they are fueling this conflict against israel. >> we know the iranians have, i believe, a much better relationship. hezbollah in lebanon than they do with hamas in gaza. is that your understanding? >> oh, absolutely. hezbollah is their principle proxy in the arab world but also hamas -- they are sunni muslims. it's very important for iran to keep a connection to radicals, to the muslim brotherhood, and the rest of it. they dnot intend to let that go, and if hamas asks for weapon, they will supply them anyway they can and most are coming through egypt. that porter is very porous. the rafah crossing i know are closed, but there are other crossings under the ground and that's where they're coming in. the components for the missiles and iran has taught hamas how to build these things locally. >> there was a missile that reached the outskirts of
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jerusalem and actually landed on the west bank not far from bethlehem just a little while ago. the sirens went off here and there's a lot of suspicion, i don't think we've confirmed it yet, that it was one of those missiles that has a range of about 75 kilometers, 50 miles or so. jerusalem is not that far away from gaza. what do you think, bob, and all these reports coming out, hamas suggesting that egypt has successfully brokered a cease-fire between israel and hamas, that will be announced in the next few hours. the israeli government saying that he is no deal yet. what do you think is going on? >> oh, i think we're close to a cease-fire, but the important is the word cease-fire. this conflict is by no means resolved in any sense of a peace, a real peace. it needs a political decision. you need to lift the embargo. the palestinians have to disarm. i don't see that anytime close. so we may get a cease-fire for a day, for a year, for two years, three years.
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we just don't know. we're by no means at the end of this. >> bob baer, thanks very much for joining us. we'll take another quick break and be right back. if you are one of the millions of men who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites.
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discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or, signs in a woman which may include changes in body hair or a large increase in acne, possibly due to accidental exposure. men with breast cancer or who have or might have prostate cancer, and women who are, or may become pregnant or are breast feeding should not use androgel. serious side effects include worsening of an enlarged prostate, possible increased risk of prostate cancer, lower sperm count, swelling of ankles, feet, or body, enlarged or painful breasts, problems breathing during sleep, and blood clots in the legs. tell your doctor about your medical conditions and medications, especially insulin, corticosteroids, or medicines to decrease blood clotting. talk to your doctor today about androgel 1.62% so you can use less gel. log on now to and you could pay as little as ten dollars a month for androgel 1.62%. what are you waiting for? this is big news.
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i heard you guys can ship ground for less than the ups store. that's right. i've learned the only way to get a holiday deal is to camp out. you know we've been open all night. is this a trick to get my spot? [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. save on ground shipping at fedex office. this is cnn breaking news. >> we want to welcome back our viewers in the united states and around the world to our special coverage. i'm here in jerusalem. a hamas official tells reuters israel and the militants of gaza have agreed to an egyptian brokered cease-fire that would go into effect at midnight local time. that's less than five hours from now, but this is not necessarily a done deal according to the
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israeli government. a spokesman for prime minister benjamin netanyahu says, and he said it right here just moments ago, negotiations are still under way. there is no deal yet. we're hoping to talk to hamas, get more information on what they know. we're speaking with egyptian officials and we're trying to get other information as well. as soon as we get an update on what's going on, we'll, of course, let you and our -- you, our viewers know when we know what's going on. it looks like they're getting closer and closer and closer, but until there's a deal and it's announced, there is no deal as the diplomats like to say. all of this is taking place as there's been no let up on the ground. today there were scores of rockets coming into israel and going the other way. israeli air strikes continuing to pound targets in gaza. yesterday i spent some time not far from gaza, and it was a very, very ominous moment. >> reporter: within minutes
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arriving in the city just a few miles from the gaza border, the sirens went off meaning hamas rockets or missiles were in the air and on the way. the israelis in this region take these warnings very seriously. they though they have only 30 seconds before a rocket or a missile reaches the area. we're just running inside. the sirens have just gone off. we get into the small, zur room. israeli soldiers and civilians are already crammed inside. they clearly have a very worried look. that's because earlier in the day precisely at this very high school a rocket landed. the damage is very visible. fortunately, no one was injured. you can see it came right through the concrete and landed at this school. this is a school, and you can see the rocket damage all the way down here. no one was injured by the other rocket that caused us to scramble to the shelter. israel's iron dome missile system destroyed the rocket. you could see the lingering
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plumes of smoke in the sky. >> the missiles targeted this school. this is the third time. >> reporter: benny is the mayor of this city of more than 100,000 people. he's been living this nightmare for a long time. >> maybe a hundred of traumatic wounded people and especially children. >> reporter: when you say traumatic, because psychological they're scared? >> of course. >> reporter: schools in this city have been closed since the latest he can change with hamas escalated in recent days. he says he's most worried about the children who have been traumatized by the sirens and explosions. this shelter is designed for the children, many of whom sleep here. we drive over to a residential area where a rocket had landed the day before. we're in a quiet residential neighborhood, but you can see it wasn't so quiet yesterday. one of the rockets hit this area over here. you can see the damage over that garage area.
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the rocket apparently came right in there. but then fortunately everyone in this neighborhood had gone into their shelters, their closed rooms, and -- but you can see some of the shrapnel reaching all the way across the street over here to this house over here. this was one of the safe rooms actually in this house, but there was no damage inside. the owner of this home was at work at his office, but his wife was inside the house. he says she ran into their secure safe room and is okay. ashkelon is seary right neerie . >> many people left the town. many people just don't want to go outside because it's dangerous. >> reporter: like many of the residents we spoke to, he was not very optimistic about the immediate future. we're here along the beach in ashkelon. normally this place would be lively. it's a lovely day. the sun is just beginning to go down right now. we're watching what's going on. it's empty. this whole area pretty much is
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desolate. the israelis are staying inside their homes. they're not going out to coffee shops. they're not going out to theaters. at least in this area. at least for the last few days because of the pounding of the rockets that have been coming in, that iron dome, that thud you hear all the time over the sky. you realize not far away, only a few kilometers, is gaza. densely populated area right along this same med trarian. my own sense is this could be such a wonderful area if they could just achieve some real peace between the israelis and the palestinians, but obviously that's going to have to wait at least for now. but for now there's a very deep silence on this beach, unlike what we heard earlier in the day. >> and even as diplomats try to broker a cease-fire, and we may be only hours away from some sort of an announcement, the fighting clearly continues. the shelling coming into israel and the israelis pounding
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this is cnn breaking news. >> our cnn international anchor hole la gorani joining us from the cnn center in atlanta. what are you learning about all of the talk of a possibling possibly imminent cease-fire? >> i've been in touch with sources familiar with the negotiations and talks going on in jerusalem and tel aviv, as well. and who was familiar with the
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conversations that occurred between the prime minister and israel and various officials, including the united nations' secretary-general. i understand that, as far as the israelis are concerned, despite the fact that a hamas official announced a cease-fire agreement had been reached that as far as the israelis are concerned that's not the case, they are not there yet and one of the requests to being floated a period of 24 hours of total calm be put in place before the israeli side agrees to any deals. so this would add one more layer to our understanding what's discussed behind closed doors, as far as the hamas and palestinian position, there are questions of end of targets assassinations and easing of the blockades. israelis want to make sure there is calm for least 24 hours, that period be put in place before they agree to any deal. we're hearing, as you mentioned earlier in the program, in this hour, that the egyptian president is saying that in a
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matter of hours a cease-fire deal will be agreed upon. but as far as the israelis are concerned, as far as sources i'm speaking to right now, they're saying no deal has been agreed to at this point, wolf. >> hala gorani, stand by. ben, are you hearing more explosions, what are you hearing now? >> reporter: we're hearing distant explosions and thuds. it's not particularly intense. i'm hearing overhead usual buzz of the drones. and i just add to what hala said earlier, i spoke with two senior egyptian officials part of the arab league-led delegation to gaza and they seemed optimistic, they seemed to think that it really would be only a matter of hours before a cease-fire would come into effect. they didn't have any details about this 24-hour period of quiet that the israelis are demanding before a long lasting
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cease-fire take ease fech. i was with the arab league delegation and most seemed optimistic some arrangement would be worked out and the much feared ground invasion by israel would abvoided. wolf? >> what do you think, how do you think that would play if the israelis demand there be a 24-hour period of calm before any agreement is signed or implemented? you think hamas is willing to go along with that? >> reporter: it's important to keep in mind, wolf, hamas is the largest group here in gaza and theoretically runs the gaza strip but there are many other groups, there's islamic jihad, for instance, which is sometimes at odds with hamas. now, we have been getting these sort of strange text messages from one of these islamic jihad leaders that is hinting they also would go along with the cease-fire. but there are other groups.
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the salafis, jihadist groups here, who might see it in their interest to continue this current round of fighting simply to enhance their cred tensions. even though hamas and islamic jihad might agree to a cease-fire, there's no real guarantee that they'll be able to guarantee one 100%. wolf? >> lots of fluid developments happening right now. but in the midst of all of the negotiations for a cease-fire, clearly the bombing continuing on both sides. ben wedeman, stand by for us. he's watching what's going on in gaza. hala gorani, thanks as well. i'll be be back 4:00 p.m., live conversation in "the situation room." more coverage after this. i always wait until the last minute.
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welcome to "newsroom international." i'm suzanne malveaux. a special welcome to viewers around the world joining us on cnn international. day seven of the israel/gaza bloodshed. hamas says there's a cease-fire agreement with israel but israeli spokesman says it is not a done deal. >> i understand they want a time-out. but if they're interested in a time-out just to regroup and come and shoot back at israelis a week from now after they've rested and replenished missile stocks we're not interested in that. >> want to go straight to wolf blitzer live in jerusalem. wolf, first of all, tell us what the state of the cease-fire is. you've been talking with israeli